In a bid to do my bit for the planet, I thought I would have a go at making my own cleaning products. The internet is full of different recipes, and I tried quite a few until I finally found some that work really well, and that I will continue to use.
My other reason for doing this is that the chemical laden shop bought products play havoc with my asthma, so I’m saving the planet and improving my health.
As you may have guessed, they do contain white vinegar, and yes it does smell a bit, but not for very long, especially if you open your windows to let some fresh air in (which in my opinion is the best air freshener). Any vinegar will do, but the reason for using white vinegar is that it won’t stain your surfaces.
The acetic acid contained in vinegar is what gives it that sour taste and strong smell, it is powerful enough to dissolve dirt, grease and grime and as a bonus it kills bacteria too.
Although not necessary, you can add essential oils to mask that vinegar smell and boost the germ-killing properties of your products. Oils such as lavender, lemon and peppermint are antimicrobial, antiseptic, bactericidal and antiviral. Tea tree is also fungicidal which makes it perfect in recipes for mould and mildew cleaners (which I haven’t tried yet as I’ve run out of spray bottles!) You could even choose your essential oils for their magical properties. Adding lavender to your floor wash for protection or lemon to your furniture polish for purification!
Before I go any further, unfortunately if you have granite, marble, quartz or any other kind of natural stone surfaces, don't use vinegar based cleaning products on them as vinegar can be corrosive to natural stone. Try using the following for an all-purpose cleaner:
250 ml cooled boiled water
2 tsp liquid castile soap or washing up liquid
10 drops of lavender essential oil
4 drops tea tree essential oil
Below is a small selection of my favourite recipes, I am continuing to search and test for others and may write another blog post in the future when I find some more that work well.
If you already make your own cleaning products, I would love it if you would pop the recipes in the comments below.
For these recipes you will need:
Bicarbonate of Soda/ Baking soda
Essential oils: Lavender and Lemon
You will also need some spray bottles. I brought my brown glass spray bottles from Baldwins.co.uk, but a quick search online will bring up other companies, or at a pinch you could clean out your old plastic cleaning spray bottles and use them, but you are unlikely to completely remove the chemical’s.
Please be mindful of your surfaces and test these recipes on a small inconspicuous area before use.
All-Purpose Cleaning Spray
I use this on surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom.
Fill a spray bottle with ½ white vinegar and ½ water
10 - 20 drops of Lemon essential oil
Shake before use.
Add Bicarbonate soda/Baking soda, white vinegar and a few drops of your choice of essential oil to the toilet bowl. Leave to fizz then use the brush to clean.
There are no amounts here, I used about a cup of bicarb soda and a cup of vinegar with about 10 drops of essential oil.
Wipe over the seat and other parts of the toilet with the all-purpose cleaning spray.
This is my favourite of all the recipes, my furniture was gleaming, but again please do a small patch test first where it won’t be seen.
¼ cup of white vinegar
¾ cup olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
10 drops of lemon essential oil
Store in spray bottle, spray onto a cloth and wipe down your furniture
This worked better than my usual brand floor cleaner
Add ¼ cup of white vinegar to a bucket of hot water
A squeeze of liquid Castile soap (mine is unscented so I added a few drops of lavender essential oil.
Fill a jar with Bicarbonate of Soda/Baking Soda
Add 10 drops of your choice of essential oil.
Put the lid on and give it a shake. Shake it evenly over the carpet, leave for about 30 minutes before vacuuming.
In a spray bottle add:
1 cup of water
½ cup white vinegar
½ tsp Castile soap
20 drops of lemon essential oil
Shake, spray fridge and wipe
Chopping Board Sanitiser
Chop a lemon in half and wipe it over your chopping board, rinse with hot water and leave to dry.
Pour a cup of Bicarbonate soda/Baking soda down a plug hole
Add a cup of white vinegar and leave to fizz.
After 10/15 minutes follow with boiling water.